I must apologize for the radio silence. I meant to write this post months ago, but I never seemed to have the time — and then when I finally had the time last month, I put it off and off, overwhelmed by the prospect of having to put the happenings of the previous four months into words. I woke up this morning, brewed some tea and decided today would be the day. So let me try to recap…
Most of you are probably unaware of my love for Fiat 500s but Gui knows that the adorable little minis are a surefire way to make me squeal with childish glee. Whenever we rent a car, Gui dutifully goes to the counter and asks if they happen to have a Fiat 500 available, only to be met by smirks. “Umm, you rented a higher class car…” “Yes, we know, but we would really like a Fiat 500…” Usually, we strike out and end up with some sort of SUV, but I think it was poetic that, for our very last road trip of the summer to the birthplace of Fiat, we finally succeeded: A lovely black cherry Fiat was ours for the weekend!
Oeschinensee is the quintessential Swiss lake — and my new favorite — with its dramatic mountain landscape rising out of shockingly turquoise water. The trail was dotted with grazing cows wearing bells and when we arrived at the lake there were even more lounging around the shoreline. I couldn’t put my camera down!
After two weeks of living in a 35-degree apartment — that’s 95 degrees Fahrenheit, for my American readers — Guillaume and I were desperate for one blissful, sweat-free night. So we rented a jeep, drove across Geneva to the canton of Graubünden and celebrated our wedding anniversary in bright red camper van perched on top of a mountain that I found on Airbnb. Sipping rosé and taking in the gorgeous view of the valley below in the crisp mountain air, we knew we had made the right call. And when we woke up at 6am absolutely freezing because we had left all of the camper windows open, we weren’t even cranky. Oh what a joy it was to be cold again!
Gui wanted to celebrate his birthday with a beach getaway and we settled on Palma de Mallorca after scoping out the summer fares on Easy Jet’s website. What a getaway it was! We spent two blissful days sailing on the Mediterranean, sunning ourselves on the beach and ordering patatas bravas every chance we could get.
I realized the other day that I still have not managed to put up a post on the fantastic city of Porto, Portugal, despite the fact that it’s been EIGHT MONTHS since our visit to celebrate my birthday. Looking back through the photos, I quickly remembered what a wonderful time we had in the home of Port wine and how much I adored its retro, artsy vibe. I would say Porto is best explored with a pastry in hand, as my husband sneakily captured in the snapshot below the break 🙂 Continue reading
One of the first things I ever painted in art class was a copy of Claude Monet’s bridge over water lilies, so it was pretty surreal when I found myself standing on that very bridge this weekend. Of course, a gazillion other tourists were sharing the experience with me, but there was something magical about strolling through Monet’s gardens, discussing with Gui in which shady spots the brilliant impressionist likely sat painting his masterpieces.
If you’re looking for affordable airfare between Europe and North America, you may want to consider Toronto as your jumping-off point because we’ve recently stumbled across some incredible deals out of Pearson airport. In January, our friends found super cheap tickets from Toronto to Dublin so we met them in Ireland to celebrate their engagement. Fast forward a few months and we were able to find bargain tickets from Geneva to Toronto on TAP Portugal and back on Condor, paying about 1/3 of what the fare would have been into Cleveland. On top of the savings, we had the added bonus of getting to see the mighty Niagara Falls during our cross-border drive, which was really something else.
I really have to thank Gui for pulling me away from my laptop a couple of weeks ago and insisting I take a break and disconnect. It turns out a weekend in lovely Champagne was exactly the rejuvenation I needed to return to my work and schoolwork with new energy the following Monday. But maybe rosé champagne has that effect on everyone…
I’ve gotten a little behind again because I have been spending most of my out-of-work hours putting the finishing touches on my master’s thesis, so let’s travel back several weeks to the end of April, when Gui and I took a weekend-long road trip through southern Germany. It involved a biergarten, shopping, hiking and cake, so it was basically a perfect weekend 🙂